The Queens Conservative Party opposes the elimination of admission test standards for our city’s specialized high schools. Standards testing was established by serious educators as a way of identifying the city’s students most capable of benefitting from the elite schools’ demanding academic curriculum. Elimination of the screening process in favor of quota-based admission will have one of two outcomes. Either there will be disappointment and lost opportunity for students who fail to meet the high academic standards, or the curriculum will be modified to accommodate quota enrollees.
UFT President Michael Mulgrew recently stated that school segregation is the result of “academic achievement”. Mulgrew was speaking to the effect of administrative testing. We get it. But, the UFT President skirts the cause of why our schools fail so many African-American and Hispanic students from winning acceptance. The high enrollment numbers of poor Asian students stamp “CANCELLED” on the argument that poverty is the cause.
Mayor De Blasio invokes the bible and School Chancellor Richard Carranza speaks of “moral obligation” as the reasons for eliminating entrance testing. Yet where is their moral compass and sense of justice when it comes supporting charter schools that benefit minority students in their most formative education years. It is clear to us that they are using the “Play to the Base” handbook, not the bible for inspiration.
The Queens Conservative Party strongly supports the idea of more black and Hispanic enrollees at the city’s prestigious schools. We support funding of preparatory test training for all students. Let’s not throw the babies out with the bathwater.